Contemplations on the Historical Passages of the Old and New Testaments
Years ago, I found a copy of this treasured set in a New Hampshire used bookshop. A few readings was all it took to discover that I’d stumbled into a goldmine. Now Hall’s writings are back in print in this two-volume paperback set.
In brief sections of 2-4 pages’ length teach, Hall brings forth some of the most encouraging, enlightening, wonderful observations on Scripture you will find anywhere.
Joseph Hall was the predecessor of J.C. Ryle at his pulpit in Liverpool, and as a writer and preacher, he manifests the same skill in bringing God’s Word home to heart of the reader. The volumes include A Memoir of the Author by Rev. James Hamilton.
A Sample from Contemplations, Book 1: On the Creation
What can I see, O God, in thy creation, but miracles of wonders? Thou madest something of nothing, and of that something all things. Thou, which wast without a beginning, gavest a beginning to time, and to the world in time. It is the praise of us men that, when we have matter, we can give it fashion. Thou gavest a being to the matter, without form; Thou gavest a form to that matter, and a glory to that form. If we can finish but a slight and imperfect matter according to a former pattern, it is the height of our skill.
But to begin that which never was, whereof there was no example, whereto there was no inclination, wherein there was no possibility of that which it should be, is proper only to such power as Thine. The infinite power of an infinite Creator! With us, not so much as a thought can arise without some matter; but here, with Thee, all matter arises from nothing. How easy it is for Thee to repair all out of something, which couldst thus fetch all out of nothing! Wherein can we now distrust Thee, that hast proved thyself thus omnipotent? Behold, to have made the least clod of nothing, is more above wonder, than to multiply a world! But now the matter doth not more praise Thy power, than the form Thy wisdom. What beauty is here! What order! What order in working! What beauty in the work!